Well, as I type, it’s still (just barely) January 1st, 2014. And, as with so many other things about the start of a New Year, it’s all about looking forwards, rather than backwards. Especially as 2013 kind of sucked for me overall.
Instead of dwelling on that, I’ve set myself some goals for 2014 to ensure that this year does not suck, or at least that if it does, it will be through no fault of my own.
I shared these goals on Facebook earlier, so if you know me well enough to follow me there, I apologize for the redundancy. Let’s look at those goals and a little bit of the whys & wherefores of them:
This is definitely the biggie, and it’s listed first because literally everything else is dependent on this. I have been unemployed for…longer than i care to admit. While this has proved helpful during the NaNoWriMo period as it does provide me with a lot of writing time, it has proved much less helpful in just about every other way. Most obviously,no job means no money, and because of how immigration works, I can’t claim any kind of unemployment/welfare. I’d rather not do that anyway because fundamentally, i want to be working. My background and degree are in Information Technology, so that’s the primary field I’ve been applying and exploring in. So far in 2014, I’ve applied for 34 jobs, and I’d like to increase that number. Obviously, I just need one person to say “you’re hired!” and my application rate will slow down. I’ also looking into retail and warehouse jobs as I just want to be working and earning.
I’m fortunate enough to still be on close enough terms with my ex-wife that she allows me to live in her spare room rent free, which is handy with the 0 income thing from the lack of job above. However, we’re both mature enough to recognize that this isn’t a viable long-term solution, especially as we’re both trying to move on in our lives (she’s been rather more successful on that score than I have currently). So, naturally, I’m scouring apartment listings to try to determine what I can afford given my credit rating and job situation. This also gives me a realistic idea of what kind of wages or salary I’d need to have from the new job above to be able to become properly independent again. Also, an apartment, or at least a place of my own is kind of essential if I ever want to start dating again…
New (to me) Vehicle
I’ll admit that this is more of a luxury desire than a goal. My current vehicle (aka the Limeymobile) is a mid-1990s Ford Aerostar minivan. While I have no issues with the coolness or lack thereof when it comes to minivans, I unironically love this big brown beast. The only issue is that it’s reached the age where maintenance and gas mileage just aren’t monetarily efficient enough for this to remain a daily driver given the no job/lack of funds thing. So I’m checking out used vehicles from the early 21st century at the least.
This goal attracted the most commentary on my Facebook post. I think it was mostly a misunderstanding. Simply put, other than the wonderful people who are the Richmond WriMos, literally every person i know here in the United States of America, I met through my ex-wife, They are all people who are “our” friends (where “our” is me and the ex) rather than “my” friends, and I kind of want people I can hang out with, talk to etc. and even occasionally complain about other people I know who know me as just me rather than “oh, and him too.” type attitude. I can’t go into more detail than that, unfortunately. especially in a quasi-public forum online like this blog.
I don’t eat healthily. I tend to retreat into food when I’m down or depressed, and as many of the goals above hint, that’s a fairly frequent state of being for me. For 2014, I’m turning that around. I’m determined to cut down on my snacking, my calorie intake in general, and especially on a lot of processed and refined foods. I’m also going to try to switch to a low carb/low gluten and higher protein regimen. Partially because eating a healthier diet promotes a more positive mental state and partly because of my next goal.
When I first moved to the US in 2003, I weighed around 185 lbs. Today, I’m hovering somewhere between 250 to 260 pounds. I’m sick of seeing a fat guy every time i look in the mirror (why yes, ladies, I am single, how did you ever guess?), so I’m determined to get my weight back below 200 lbs by the end of the year, if not sooner. The dietary changes are one aspect of that, the other is getting off of my fat butt and working out, either by joining a gym if finances allow or simply by taking up jogging, walking or running for a set regimen each day. I want to be thinner, and so I’m gonna try to do something about it.
Simple math, if I lose 60-75 lbs this year, none of my clothes will fit any more, so I’ll have to get new ones. Seems like a great reason to refresh the old wardrobe to me.
I spend too much time complaining about how my life has been going (this blog entry illustrates that somewhat) and not enough time thinking positively about how I’m going to change it. So, i need to try to be more upbeat and goal-oriented.
At least 1 new novel drafted outside of NaNoWriMo
As anyone who has followed this blog will know, I dabble in writing and enjoy it immensely (It’s become my biggest and most therapeutic stress relief). I want to keep doing that,so my two New Year’s Resolutions in regards to writing output are: 500 words written every day, and having a new entry on this blog at least weekly throughout 2014. So far, I’m good on the latter, not as much on the former, where I’m around 300 words short. (However as “day” in this context means “period in which I’m awake” rather than “actual calendar day that ends at midnight”) I still have time to stay on schedule and disciplined to keep writing.
Same old core self at the heart of it
While all these goals represent major life changes, I don’t want to fundamentally change who I am personality wise. I’ve grown to quite like me how I am when I’m not being miserable, and I think at least a few other people have too. So, I’d like to keep that essential kernel of Lost Limey-ness even as I strive towards these prior enumerated goals.
So, that’s my outlook on 2014 and where I want to be by the end of it (well, much, much sooner if possible), what are yours, dear readers?